India’s JSW reduces steel output to divert oxygen to fight against Covid-19

Major Indian steelmaker JSW Steel is reducing steel production to ensure that sufficient oxygen is sent from its plants to the healthcare sector to help combat the surge in Covid-19 cases in the country, it said this week.

Covid-19 cases in India are still surging, with more than 300,000 active cases registered in the country on Wednesday April 28, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health.

JSW did not specify the scale of the production cuts, but is likely to reveal the lower production volumes in a quarterly report later this year, a source close to the company said.

“Saving lives is more important than producing steel and production can suffer for as long as the country is in need of any resource available with the company,” JSW Group chairman Sajjan Jindal said on Tuesday.

Major steel companies in India have either offered or have already provided oxygen supplies to the medical sector, even though this could result in reduced steel output.

JSW Steel expects its total liquid medical oxygen (LMO) supplies in April to be more than 20,000 tonnes, and the company has committed to continue the supply of LMO by lowering the production of steel at its steel plants.

Large Covid-19 centers are being built on an emergency basis around the company’s plants, with JSW laying a dedicated pipeline to supply oxygen directly to the patients.

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